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“The study of ‘art spaces’ has generally focused on physical spaces for the arts in the form of art districts, cultural infrastructure and museum spaces” (Chang, T C, and W K Lee. , 2003) Using Singapore as a case study, we are going explore its art spaces. Most of the arts spaces where art companies who are under the Arts Housing Scheme cultivate their art are run by Arts House Limited (non-profit organization) and places like Esplanade are where they provide programming and mentorship for theatre companies and artists in hopes to create awareness for the arts locally. “We bring the arts closer to underprivileged communities through engagement efforts, which includes workshops or other activities carried out at their respective centres. ” (Esplanade, ) In relation to tourism and it’s place making, the economy benefits from it.
Hence in this essay, we will discuss about art spaces in Singapore while they provide spaces for arts companies and artists to cultivate and showcase their art, primarily serve an economic purpose. Arts House Limited, formerly named as The Old Parliament House Limited, was established on 11 Dec 2002 under National Arts Council. Arts House Ltd manages arts spaces like The Arts House, Victoria Theatre, Victoria Concert Hall, Goodman Arts Centre, Aliwal Arts Centre and Drama Centre. With both Goodman Arts Centre and Aliwal Arts Centre having residency programs for arts companies who are under the Arts Housing Scheme, has over 48 and 11 art companies and artists respectively. With the arts centre being accessible for rental to arts companies, they have the space to call theirs, being able to cultivate their art and do collaborations with other arts companies. “More importantly, NAC hopes this new centre will bring about closer collaborations across disciplines, a greater sharing of resources, and a deeper engagement of the community in a manner that will inspire new ideas and new ways of art-making and learning about the arts. ” (NAC)
These art centres then becomes a community where people from all works of life, artist or not gathers to share, learn and create art. “developing the Aliwal Arts Centre is to provide a conducive environment and suitable facilities to support the continual professional and artistic development of artists and arts groups, particularly emerging practitioners and companies. ” (NAC) With the new and upcoming arts companies who are under NAC grants, they are able to rent the spaces at relatively cheaper prices under the Arts Housing Scheme. Esplanade Co Ltd has two main performing venues which are Concert Hall and Theatre. The Concert Hall can seat up to 1,600 people. The Theatre can seat up to 2,000 people. Up to date, it is Singapore’s largest stage. It also houses the Recital Studio and Theatre Studio which are the two smaller performing spaces, seating 250 and 220 people.
In addition, the Esplanade offers outdoor performing venues, an exhibition gallery and a rehearsal studio. Also housed here is Singapore’s first performing arts library. When Esplanade was created, there were many job opportunities and through time, they expanded the venue into a one stop hub withmentorship programs, courses and festivals e. g. , baybeats. “With the opening of the centre, more Singaporeans began to consider arts and arts administration jobs as viable economic opportunities. ” (Zakaria, 2011)“While most place management efforts were concentrated within the city centre, perhaps more attention could be paid to regional centres and neighbourhoods that were inhabited by larger and more diverse groups of people from the elderly to young children, working adults and even foreigners. ”
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